Friends & Collaborators

Building community around great food.

Sommelier Greg O’Byrne

Born in Chicago, the fifth of ten children of an Irish/Italian Catholic family, Greg O’Byrne learned at an early age the joys of sharing a meal at large gatherings. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late-seventies, he initiated his young wine palate with Joseph Phelps Riesling sipped from bota bags at Grateful Dead and Santana concerts.

After graduating UC Berkeley in 1982 with a degree in Computer Science, Greg developed software in San Francisco for two years and then moved to Paris in 1984. While living and working in Paris as a software engineer, he discovered the triumph of Cote du Provence Rosé with Vietnamese spring rolls and the sublime pleasure of a slightly chilled Cru Beaujolais with duck confit and baby peas. Realizing there was more to his future than computer coding, Greg left Paris on his bicycle and rode through the wine regions of France, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, and Spain before moving back to San Francisco to pursue a career in the restaurant business.

Greg O’Byrne is a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers program. He has been a steady presence in the Santa Fe restaurant scene as restaurant manager, event director, wine writer, and wine educator. For several decades, he has been the Executive Director of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and the Taos Winter Wine Festival, both of which are multi-day events featuring the culinary artistry found in Santa Fe and Taos coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries. Through this he has led hundreds of workshops on the beauty and complexities of wine. In 2004, he helped start Santa Fe’s Slow Food chapter with Deborah Madison. When not producing his own wine events, Greg is a regular guest sommelier at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine and the LA Food & Wine events.

Greg O'Byrne of Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta is a friend and collaborator with Open Kitchen

Sommelier Greg O’Byrne will always share a glass with you.

Sommelier Greg O’Byrne traveling the Northern Rhone.

An avid cyclist, Greg has ridden Michael Chiarello’s Botega Napa Valley Gran Fondo. With the help of Matthew Accarrino of SPQR in San Francisco, he started the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Gran Fondo in 2014. He regularly does wine tours via bicycle, such as a 10-day loop around Sicily where he visited the island’s prominent wine regions and his most recent tour in the Northern Rhone of France, where he deepened his love and appreciation for the region’s wines.

Greg believes in wine with dinner every night, that the best wine is always the wine in your glass, and that it’s not what you drink but who you drink it with that counts. His passion for wine includes the wines of Oregon, Sicily, Piedmont, Tuscany and German Riesling, which reminds him of a bota bag and the high notes of Carlos Santana’s guitar.

We are proud to partner with Greg O’Byrne in pairing the perfect wines for each dish and sharing a love of world cultures and libations.